Sunday was supposed to be all about distance, rather than speed, anyhow. It was supposed to be 17 miles. I managed a grand total of 16, split into 14.5 miles of ever slowing plod, a sit down at a canal lock for a massive meltdown involving tears and snot and sobbing and exhaustion and then another mile and a half of excessive plod.
Then I got myself rescued a mile or so from home. Seriously. N came out, in the van, with extra layers, and lots of hugs, and just made it all better, and made tea for me when I got back in, and found a nice warm towel for my freezing cold toes, and gave me crisps and chocolate.
From this we conclude:
Do not go on holiday part way through marathon training (or, if you do, do not go to altitude, go somewhere that will allow training to continue). Do not optimistically assume you will run 10 miles straight after getting off a 9 hour transatlantic flight (I spent the day prone on the sofa. Barely awake).
Adjust the training plan accordingly, and do not attempt to do 17 miles straight after not having run further than 5 miles in the intervening 3 weeks regardless of whether you’re jetlagged or not. Work up to it slightly more gently (I was struggling at 8.5 miles, and really not feeling the love after 12 miles, despite three gels having gone down my gullet by that point).
Do not run three days straight because you have mucked up the previous week’s training because people needed to be met.
Do not spend the day before the long run belting round London trying to sort out tenants and training Guide leaders in the database system. Instead, rest properly, and eat properly. Heading into London six days running is asking for trouble. Not getting back home before 10pm for four of those days doesn’t help matters either. Not when the departure time to get to work is 7.10am.
Do not accept any further commitments (Guiding or otherwise) other than those in the diary, or in the early planning process.
However, do get a really lovely new pair of trail shoes to muddy up enthusiastically. They were brilliant.
I’m still aiming for a sub 4-hour marathon at Manchester (seriously. 3:59:59 would do it). This coming weekend I will run between 12 and 18 miles (haven’t established my route properly, as I need to faff with a map) cross-country (it’s got the odd hill…that counts as extra mileage?). The weekend after is The Chocathon Challenge (aiming for 5 laps). Then Leith Hill Half (6.5 miles up, 6.5 miles down – apart from a brief down on the way up, which turns into a killer up on the way down), Bath, another 20 miler, 12 miles and, although I’m supposed to do 9, I’ve got an entry for Reading Half and, crucially, can tumble out of bed, meander 5 minutes to our closest station, and be there in time if I’m on the 8:10 train without needing to rely on N for transport. I don’t like the Reading course much – but it seems such a waste of money to not do it. I hadn’t thought we’d entered, but the Race Packs have just shown up at my parents’ place. I think it will all depend on what the weather’s doing.
In other words, the training for this marathon is all over the bloody shop. It’s intervals tonight, which may be a total disaster area, but it’s not the end of the world if it is.
I am continuing to #ktf2016. I’m onto the sleeves of the current sweater (it would be done by now if I’d liked the original contrast yarn I used, rather than ripping back about 5 balls worth of Rowan 4 ply tweed), and have finished two pairs of socks over the weekend. Both the Sparkly Unicorn Fart Socks and the Spey Valley Socks. I cast on a new pair of Spey Valleys today.